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Hockey players get the credit for being the toughest competitors on the planet. However, they cannot hold a candle to extreme sports athletes. Risking life and limb for a medal and praise proves they are one-of-a-kind. With the Winter X Games approaching, let’s look back at the most legendary performances at the Winter X Games.
Hannah Teter’s Teenage Dream
Before she captured the hearts of Americans after winning the gold medal in the 2006 Olympic Games, Hannah Teter proved that she was every bit as credible as her snowboarding brothers. Because Teter is an avid surfer, it is no surprise that she could carve on a longboard with the best of them.
At only 17 years old, Teter won gold in the Superpipe competition at the 2004 Winter X Games after nailing a frontside 900. Thanks to efforts at the Winter X Games and the Olympics, Hannah is one of the rare athletes that inspired a Ben & Jerry’s flavor. “Maple Blondie” had a maple caramel swirl and blonde brownie chunks mixed with maple-flavored ice cream.
Brian Deegan’s Road to Redemption
Brian Deegan is no stranger to extreme sports. The motocross extraordinaire usually scoffs at the threat of danger, but it was no laughing matter when Deegan lost control of his bike and fell 45 feet. Fortunately, Deegan survived the scary fall, although he didn’t walk away unscathed, breaking his wrists and femur.
It would be plausible for any normal human being to close shop and vow never to ride again after something so traumatic. Yet, Deegan had other ideas, returning to the X Games after only six months to capture the gold medal in the 2005 Moto X competition.
Chloe Kim Arrives
Most 14-year-old people are scribbling in a journal, playing video games, or binging the latest popular show. Chloe Kim wasn’t like most 14-year-olds.
Kim is the youngest Winter X Games medalist, bringing home the gold in the Superpipe at the 2015 games. Kim had to pick herself up after crashing in her practice run, punctuating her routine with a frontside 900, McTwist, and switch backside 720. Kim went on to win Olympic gold in the past two Olympic games, the first being when she was only 17.
Shaun White Is in a Class by Himself
The “Flying Tomato” and X Games go together like peanut butter and jelly. Shaun White’s accolades at the X Games are so abundant that it’s difficult to single out just one, so let’s go with his efforts at Winter X 10 when he completed his four-peat in the straight Slopestyle.
His winning run full of 900s and 1080s dazzled onlookers as they watched an artist in action. Like many others on this list, White took his talents to the Winter Olympics, making him a three-time gold medalist.
The most legendary performances at the Winter X Games were stepping stones for some athletes to represent the U.S. in the Olympics. Still, fans of the action-packed X Games find it hard to forget what came before they stood on top of the podium with the “Star-Spangled Banner” playing.